LAST DRINKS (Paul O Brien)


Outside there are three children playing

There’s light through the half-open door

A glance and a nod to the barman

And slowly he pulls one pint more


The men both watch the black settle

And now and then look towards the street

Listening to the laughing and playing

And the sound of the children’s’ bare feet


While the barman collects empty bottles

And goes out to the back of the shop

He’s thinking about his own childhood

No hearing that the playing has stopped


When he was a lad in the “Diamond”

Where boys they played football and ran

He remembers the girls and them skipping

And the gangs when they played “kick the can”


The barman runs back to the counter

And stares at the man on the floor

Outside the girls are still playing

Their shadows they dance at the door